After ending the previous session at new record closing highs, the major U.S. stock indexes are turning in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday. While the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have seen further upside, the narrower Dow has given back ground.
Currently, the major averages remain on opposite sides of the unchanged line. The Dow is down 96.75 points or 0.3 percent at 36,060.83, but the Nasdaq is up 81.07 points or 0.5 percent at 15,892.66 and the S&P 500 is up 9.86 points or 0.2 percent at 4,670.43.
The continued advance by the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 partly reflects recent upward momentum, which has helped continually propel the major averages to new record highs.
Another batch of upbeat earnings news has helped generate further buying interest, as most major companies continue to report better than expected quarterly results.
Qualcomm (QCOM) is posting a standout gain after the chipmaker reported better than expected fiscal fourth quarter results and provided upbeat guidance.
Traders also continue to react positively to the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy announcement, with the central bank announcing plans to scale back its asset purchases but signaling it won’t be in a hurry to begin raising interest rates.
Meanwhile, notable losses by Dow Inc. (DOW) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are contributing to the modest pullback by the Dow.
On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing another modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 30th.
The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 269,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 283,000.
Economists had expected initial jobless claims to edge down to 277,000 from the 281,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Jobless claims decreased for the fifth straight week, once again falling to their lowest level since hitting 256,000 in the week ended March 14, 2020.
Meanwhile, a separate report from the Commerce Department showed the U.S. trade deficit widened much more than expected in the month of September.
The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $80.9 billion in September from a revised $72.8 billion in August.
Economists had expected the deficit to widen to $74.1 billion from the $73.3 billion originally reported for the previous month.
The wider than expected trade deficit came as the value of exports tumbled by 3.0 percent to $207.6 billion, while the value of imports rose by 0.6 percent to $288.5 billion.
Banking stocks have moved sharply lower over the course of the trading session, dragging the KBW Bank Index down by 2.3 percent.
Considerable weakness has also emerged among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.
Brokerage stocks are also giving back ground, with the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index falling by 1.6 percent after ending the previous session at a record closing high.
Tobacco, steel and networking stocks have also moved to the downside, while semiconductor stocks continue to see notable strength following the upbeat earnings news from Qualcomm.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 0.9 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.8 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has risen by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both up by 0.5 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have rebounded after turning lower over the course of the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 5.5 basis points at 1.524 percent.
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